PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP0742761 11.07.2002
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0742761
Titel VORRICHTUNG UND VERFAHREN ZUM EINZIEHEN VON RÄDERN EINES AMPHIBIENFAHRZEUGS
Anmelder Gibbs Holdings Ltd., Auckland, NZ
Erfinder Gibbs Holdings Limited, Auckland, NZ
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69526925
Vertragsstaaten AT, DE, ES, FR, GB, IT, NL, SE
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 15.02.1995
EP-Aktenzeichen 959091471
WO-Anmeldetag 15.02.1995
PCT-Aktenzeichen PCT/NZ95/00013
WO-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0009523074
WO-Veröffentlichungsdatum 31.08.1995
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 20.11.1996
EP date of grant 05.06.2002
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 11.07.2002
IPC-Hauptklasse B60F 3/00
IPC-Nebenklasse B60G 3/20   B60G 25/00   B62D 61/12   

Beschreibung[en]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention

This invention relates to an amphibious vehicle, and particularly, an apparatus and method for retracting axle-driven wheels onboard such vehicle, according to the characteristics of the preambles of independent claims 1 and 6.

Description of Prior Art

Numerous amphibious vehicles have been designed and manufactured; the majority of these leave the wheels in place when the vehicle is water-borne, thereby limiting the speed of the vehicle through water.

U.S. Patent No. 3,903,831 describes a vehicle having a retractable wheel-system to retract the wheels into cavities within the hull of the craft. This mechanism does not draw the wheels to a position fully above the waterline when afloat, but instead uses a complex mechanism to pivot the wheels to within the hull and to close a hatch over the opening of the wheel-cavities to reduce drag in the water. The pivoting apparatus of this design also of necessity requires chains as the drive-means; such chains require a higher degree of attention and maintenance than more dependable drive-axles, especially in the marine environment.

U.S. Patent No. 4,958,584 discloses a pivoting mechanism which raises the wheels to a limited height where sliding panels may be employed to cover the openings into the hull. Again, the wheels are not raised above the waterline of the craft when afloat, and extra components and mechanisms are necessary to close the wheel-cavities in order to overcome the drag of the wheels in the water. This document represents the closest prior art, as it discloses the characteristics of the preambles of independent claims 1 and 6.

Consequently the need exists for an improved apparatus which will retract axle-driven wheels onboard an amphibious vehicle whereby they do not directly contact water while the vehicle is normally afloat, without need for covers or sliding panels to render them unobtrusive.

Accordingly it is the object of this invention to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art, or at least provide the public with a useful choice.

The present invention provides an apparatus for retracting an axle-driven wheel on board an amphibious vehicle said apparatus comprising:

  • (a) location means for locating said wheel to the body of said vehicle said location means providing a geometric arrangement whereby said wheel may follow said retracting process while remaining connected to said drive-means, and
  • (b) drive means, being a drive-axle driveably and pivotally connected at a proximate end thereof to a drive-output and driveably and pivotally connected at a distal end thereof to said wheel whereby said drive-means may remain connected to said wheel throughout a retracting process, from a protracted position wherein said wheel has an axis of rotation substantially horizontal and said wheel is able to provide land-support to said vehicle to a retracted position characterised in that said wheel has said axis at an angle greater than 45 degrees to said horizontal and said wheel is elevated substantially above the waterline of said vehicle when afloat.

The present invention further provides a method of retracting an axle-driven wheel on board an amphibious vehicle in which the wheel is located to the body of the said vehicle whereby said wheel may follow said retracting process while remaining connected to said drive-axle, characterised in that it further comprises the step of driveably and pivotally connecting a drive-output through a drive-axle to said wheel whereby said drive-output and said drive-axle are able to remain connected to said wheel throughout a retracting process, from a protracted position wherein said wheel has an axis of rotation substantially horizontal and said wheel is able to provide land support to said vehicle, to a retracted position wherein said wheel has said axis at an angle greater than 45 degrees to said horizontal in a retracted position and said wheel is elevated substantially above the waterline of said vehicle when afloat.

An apparatus for retracting an axle-driven wheel on board an amphibious vehicle will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which :

  • FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C are respectively a side elevation, a plan view, and a rear elevation of one embodiment of the invention being the amphibious vehicle in a broad aspect.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention being the wheel-retraction apparatus in the protracted position.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the invention being the apparatus of FIG.2 with modifications for steering.
  • FIG. 4 is an end-elevational diagram of the apparatus of FIG.2 shown in both the protracted position and the retracted position.
  • FIG.5 is an end-elevational diagram of the apparatus of FIG.3 shown in both the protracted position and the retracted position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings: FIGS.1A, 1B and 1C show three views of an amphibious vehicle (generally indicated by arrow 1) comprising a body 2 being a buoyant vessel, having wheels 3 (indicated by 3P for the protracted position, and 3R for the retracted position). As shown, this preferred embodiment has four wheels; however, other configurations, such as three wheels, or multiple wheels, are possible.

The vehicle includes a motor 4 or similar power-source to provide power through transmission 5 to differentials 6A (front) and 6B (rear), each having drive-outputs 7, as shown. The motor 4 also provides power through a gearbox 8 to a marine propulsion unit 9 . Various combinations of motors, transmissions and propulsion units can be assembled however, without change to the principle of the invention. The essential functions of this apparatus would be suited to numerous configurations of land-water amphibious vehicles. A wheel-retraction apparatus according to the present invention, is generally indicated by arrow 42 for steerable wheels and 43 for non-steerable wheels.

In this preferred embodiment, FIGS 1A, 1B and 1C further show the drive-outputs 7 connected to the drive-axles 10 , these being connected to the wheels 3P and 3R respectively, which are located to the body 2 (at front and rear) by upper suspension linkages 11, and lower suspension linkages 12. These axles and linkages operate in an upper compartment 13 and a lower compartment 14 for each of the wheels. From the three views of FIG.1 it will be understood that each wheel may process from a lower (protracted) land-support position 3P to an upper (retracted) water-borne position 3R, wherein each wheel is largely enclosed within its respective upper compartment 13.

FIG.2 shows, in perspective, an example of the apparatus 43 as arranged for a non-steerable wheel. The drive-output 7 from the differential 6, contains a driveable and pivotable inboard axle-joint 17 (being a constant-velocity joint in this example) connected to the proximate end of the drive-axle 10.

The distal end of the drive-axle 10 is connected to a proximate end of a spindle 15 by a driveable and pivotable outboard axle-joint 18 (similar to the inboard axle joint 17); the spindle 15 is borne rotatably on bearings housed within a lower end of a wheel-support member 16, and the wheel 3 (not shown in FIG 2) is mounted conventionally on a distal end of the spindle 15.

By these drive connections a pivotable drive-line is formed from the drive-output 7 to the wheel 3 whereby the wheel 3 may follow the retracting process as determined by the drive-axle 10 articulating about the inboard axle-joint 17, and the spindle 15 articulating about the outboard axle joint 18.

The wheel 3 is thus rotatably mounted on the wheel-support member 16. An upper suspension linkage 11 is connected to the wheel-support member 16 at the upper outboard pivot 20, and is connected to the body 2 at upper inboard pivots 22. A lower suspension linkage 12 is connected to the wheel support member 16 at a lower outboard pivot 21, and is connected to the body 2 at lower inboard pivots 23. (In this example, the lower outboard pivot 21 takes the form of a hinge which prevents the rotation of the wheel-support member 16 about a vertical axis, thus prohibiting steerability) The location-system, such as suspension linkages 11 and 12 respectively, locates the wheel-support member 16 to the body 2 while allowing spring-movement for suspensional support when in the protracted position. The location-system also provides a geometric arrangement whereby the wheel-support member 16 may follow the retracting process, as detailed in FIG 4.

In the embodiment of FIG 2 the location-system is shown as double linkages, each forming a triangle with the body 2, but alternative linkages such as single or multiple members may be employed. Further alternative location-systems such as sliding members or reciprocating shafts, or any other suitable location-system, may also be employed to provide a similar geometric arrangement whereby the wheel-support member 16 (and thus the wheel 3) may follow the retracting process as determined by the drive connections.

FIG.2 also shows the compartments 13 and 14 (integral with the body 2), which provide support and enclosure for the wheel retraction apparatus 43. The upper compartment 13 (having an open outboard end and a closed inboard end) provides support for the upper inboard pivots 22 and largely encloses the wheel 3 in the retracted position. The lower compartment 14 (having an open outboard end and a closed inboard end) encloses the lower suspension linkage 12 and the drive-axle 10, and supports the lower inboard pivots 23. Both compartments 13 and 14, and body 2, are depicted as if transparent in order to reveal the apparatus 43.

A bulkhead 24, which forms the closed inboard end of the lower compartment 14, has an opening, a portal 25, through which the drive-axle 10 may pass. The compartment 14, having an open outboard end, will be flooded when the vehicle 1 is afloat, and accordingly a sealing device is provided at the portal 25 to prevent water passing inboard the body 2.

FIG.2 also shows one device for actuating the retracting process. One lower inboard pivot 23 (being supported by the compartment 14) is connected to a distal end of a torsion-bar 26 which may be of any convenient length. A proximate end of the torsion-bar 26 is connected to a lever 27 which is further connected to a power-device 28 (in this case a compressed-fluid cylinder) which applies torque to the torsion-bar 26 when driven by liquid or gas pressure (or combination thereof) from an input-pipe 29. This arrangement both applies actuating motion to the apparatus 43, and provides suspensional support to the vehicle 1. (Suspensional support is here defined as vehicular suspension on wheels having normal automotive spring-movement).

Alternatively, torsional flexibility in the torsion-bar 26 may be partly or wholly responsible for suspensional support.

Moreover, a power-device such as the power-device 28 may be connected directly or indirectly to the any part of the location-system, whereby the power-device 28 provides both actuating motion and suspensional support.

FIG.3 shows, in perspective, an example of the wheel retraction apparatus 42 arranged for a steerable wheel; again the body and compartments are depicted as if transparent. It will be seen that the main components are similar to those of the non-steerable apparatus 43 of FIG.2, and that suspension and location will function in the same way. Components having a similar function to those of the apparatus 43 are thus denoted with the same numerals, and description is omitted.

Steering pivots to provide vehicular steering include: the upper outboard pivot 20 being a multi-axis joint; and the lower outboard pivot 21 being a multi-axis joint: These steering pivots define a substantially vertical axis on which the wheel support member 16 may turn, thereby providing conventional vehicular steering to the wheel 3. In this example, vehicular steering is controlled by a steering-shaft 30, this having a linear reciprocating motion as supplied by a conventional automotive steering rack and pinion 44 (shown in FIG 1B). The steering-shaft 30 is connected to a steering-link 32 by a pivot 31; the steering-link 32 is connected to a steering-arm 34 by a pivot 33, while the steering arm 34 is fixed as a cantilever to the wheel -support member 16. These steering connections convert linear motion of the steering-shaft 30 to turning motion of the wheel-support member 16, while permitting movement of the wheel-support member 16 for suspensional support and the retracting process. Various arrangements of steering apparatus may be employed to provide steering motion, but in all cases the pivot 31, or equivalent, must be correctly positioned relative to the apparatus 42 whereby the steering-link 32 may articulate in substantially the same relationship to the retracting process. This process is detailed in FIG.5.

FIG.3 also discloses a further device for actuating the retracting process. A torsion-bar 35 is connected to one upper inboard pivot 22 (as for the torsion-bar 26 in FIG.2); and a power-device 36, in this case a mechanical reduction-gear, applies torque to the torsion-bar 35 when driven by an input-shaft 37. This device for actuating, and that of FIG.2, can be applied to the upper or lower inboard pivots 22 or 23 respectively, on either side of the apparatus 42 and 43 where convenient, whereby actuating motion and suspensional support are provided. Alternative power-devices of any suitable type may also be used.

FIG.4 discloses the geometric arrangement of the retracting process of the apparatus 43 (non-steerable) in end elevation. Component numbers are suffixed P when the apparatus 43 is in the protracted position; component numbers are suffixed R when the apparatus 43 is in the retracted position.

In the course of the retracting process:

  • (a) the drive-axle 10P articulates to 10R about the inboard axle-joint 17, whereby the outboard axle-joint 18P describes an arc to 18R,
  • (b) the lower suspension linkage 12P articulates to 12R about the lower inboard pivot 23, whereby the lower outboard pivot 21P describes an arc to 21R;
  • (c) the upper suspension-linkage 11P articulates to 11R about the upper inboard pivot 22, whereby the upper outboard pivot 20P describes an arc to 20R;
  • (d) whereby the wheel-support member 16P is caused to articulate about the inboard axle joint 17 and the outboard axle-joint 18P (18R) to arrive at the retracted position 16R, and the spindle 15P articulates to 15R about the outboard axle-joint 18P (18R).

Now referring to FIG.4 and FIG.5: the wheel-support member 16P in the protracted position provides a substantially horizontal centerline for the spindle 15P and a lower position relative to the body 2 whereby the wheel 3P may rotate on a substantially horizontal axis and protrude below the body 2 to provide land-support for the vehicle 1. The wheel-support member 16R in the retracted position provides a more vertically inclined centerline for the spindle 15R and a higher position relative to the body 2, whereby the wheel 3R is positioned substantially above the waterline and largely enclosed by the compartment 13.

The angle of spindle 15R when retracted may vary from 45 degrees to the horizontal (the minimum to achieve a useful height above the waterline) to a full 90 degrees or further if found suitable, this being limited only by the axle joints, which commonly allow over 45 degrees articulation each. For this particular vehicle, an angle of 80 degrees from the horizontal has been found optimal.

FIG.5 gives a more detailed elevational view of the apparatus 42, with particular reference to the geometric arrangement of the steering connections during the retracting process. A profile of the wheel 3 is shown mounted on the spindle 15, while the drive-axle 10 and the suspension linkages 11 and 12 have been deleted for clarity. Steering component numbers are suffixed D when steering is to the right, and S when steering is to the left.

With the apparatus 42 in the protracted position: reciprocating motion of the steering shaft 30 causes pivot 31 to reciprocate from 31S to 31D and this motion is transmitted through the steering-link 32P and the steering-arm 34P to the wheel-support member 16P.

In the course of the retracting process: the pivot 33P describes an arc to 33R, whereby the steering-link 32P articulates to 32R about the pivot 31.

With the apparatus 42 in the retracted position: when the pivot 31 reciprocates from 31S to 31D, the steering-link 32R is caused to articulate about the pivot 33R. (A slight vertical displacement of the pivot 33R will be negligible in practice).

It will be seen that this arrangement permits the vehicular steering to remain connected while the wheels are retracted for the water-borne mode. The steering-shaft may also control the marine-propulsion steering, which can be operative in the land-support mode without effect: it is therefore unnecessary to disable the steering for either mode.

FIG.5 also shows, in profile, a representation of the upper compartment 13 which largely encloses the wheel 3R in the retracted position.

FIG.5 also shows the lower compartment 14 having a closed inboard end formed by the bulkhead 24 which contains the portal 25, being an opening for the drive-axle 10. In this example, a flanged housing 38 contains a sealing-device 39, which prevents fluids from passing through the portal 25 to the interior of the vehicle 1. In this case a rotary seal which bears upon the outer surface of the drive output 7 is shown, but a variety of sealing-devices could be employed for this purpose.

FIG.5 also shows the steering-shaft 30 enclosed by a cylindrical guide-housing 40 which is fixed in the bulkhead 24. A sealing-device 41 exemplifies various means whereby fluids may be prevented from passing between the shaft 30 and the housing 40.

The wheel-retraction apparatus and method of this invention may be understood from this description. Where reference has been made to specific components or integers having known equivalents, then such equivalents are herein incorporated as if individually set forth. Although this invention has been described by way of example and with reference to possible embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that modifications and improvements may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Vorrichtung zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads (3) an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs (1), bestehend aus:
    • (a) einer Halterung (11, 12) zum Halten des Rads (3) an der Karosserie (2) des Fahrzeugs (1), wobei die Halterung (11, 12) so geometrisch angeordnet ist, dass das Rad (3) während des Einziehvorgangs mit dem Antrieb verbunden bleiben kann, und
    • (b) einem Antrieb, bei dem es sich um eine Antriebsachse (10) handelt, die antreibbar und schwenkbar an ihrem nahen Ende an einem Abtrieb (7) und antreibbar und schwenkbar an ihrem fernen Ende am Rad (3) angebracht ist, wobei der Antrieb während des Einziehvorgangs mit dem Rad (3) verbunden bleiben kann - von einer ausgefahrenen Stellung (3P), in der die Drehachse des Rads (3) im Wesentlichen horizontal ist und das Rad (3) das Fahrzeug (1) an Land tragen kann, zu einer eingezogenen Stellung (3R), dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Achse des Rads (3) in der eingezogenen Stellung in einem Winkel von mehr als 45 Grad zur Horizontalen liegt und das Rad (3) deutlich über der Wasserlinie des schwimmenden Fahrzeugs (1) liegt.
  2. Vorrichtung zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads (3) an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs (1) nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Halterung (11, 12) aus folgendem besteht:
    • (a) einem Radträger (16) mit einem oberen und einem unteren Ende, wobei das Rad (3) drehbar am unteren Ende angebracht ist;
    • (b) einem oberem Aufhängungsgestänge (11), das an seinem nahen Ende schwenkbar an der Fahrzeugkarosserie (2) angebracht ist und an seinem fernen Ende schwenkbar am oberen Ende des Radträgers (16) angebracht ist; und
    • (c) einem unterem Aufhängungsgestänge (12), das an seinem nahen Ende schwenkbar an der Fahrzeugkarosserie (2) angebracht ist und an seinem fernen Ende schwenkbar am unteren Ende des Radträgers (16) angebracht ist; wobei das obere Aufhängungsgestänge (11) und das untere Aufhängungsgestänge (12) eine geometrische Anordnung bilden, durch die der Radträger (16) während des Einziehvorgangs mit dem Antrieb verbunden bleiben kann.
  3. Vorrichtung zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads (3) an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs (1) nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sie auch eine Vorrichtung zum Lenken des Fahrzeugs umfasst, die aus folgendem besteht:
    • (a) Lenkverbindungen, bestehend aus einer Lenkwelle (30), einem Lenkgestänge (32) und einem Lenkhebel (34), der am Radträger (16) angebracht ist; und
    • (b) Lenkzapfen (31, 33), um den Radträger (16) schwenkbar zu befestigen, wobei der Radträger (16) um eine im Wesentlichen senkrechte Achse gedreht werden kann, um für die Fahrzeuglenkgung zu sorgen, wenn
      • (aa) ein Torsionsstab (35) zum Aufbringen der Stellbewegung auf die Halterung, um den Einziehvorgang zu betätigen und wobei der Torsionsstab (35) außerdem zur Aufhängung des Fahrzeugs (1) dient; und
      • (bb) eine Kraftvorrichtung (36) zum Aufbringen eines Drehmoments auf den Torsionsstab (35), um den Einziehvorgang zu betätigen, wobei die Kraftvorrichtung außerdem zur Aufhängung des Fahrzeugs (1) dient.
  4. Vorrichtung zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads (3) an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs nach Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sie auch eine Vorrichtung zum Umschließen und Tragen dieser Vorrichtung umfasst, die aus folgendem besteht:
    • (a) einem unteren Kasten (14) dessen nach innen weisende Seite geschlossen ist und dessen nach außen weisende Seite offen ist, wobei der untere Kasten (14) in die Fahrzeugkarosserie (2) integriert ist und so angeordnet ist, dass er das nahe Ende des unteren Aufhängungsgestänges (12) schwenkbar trägt und das untere Aufhängungsgestänge (12) und die Antriebsachse (10) teilweise umschließt; wobei der untere Kasten (14) über eine Durchführung (25) verfügt, in Form einer Öffnung, durch die die Antriebsachse (10) durch die geschlossene nach innen weisende Seite des unteren Kastens (14) geführt ist und über eine Dichtung (39) verfügt, durch die verhindert wird, dass Flüssigkeiten durch die Durchführung (25) gelangen; und
    • (b) einem oberen Kasten (13) dessen nach innen weisende Seite geschlossen ist und dessen nach außen weisende Seite offen ist, wobei der obere Kasten (13) in die Fahrzeugkarosserie (2) integriert ist und so angeordnet ist, dass er das nahe Ende des oberen Aufhängungsgestänges (11) schwenkbar trägt und das Rad (3) teilweise umschließt, wenn das Rad (3) sich in der eingezogenen Stellung (3R) befindet.
  5. Vorrichtung zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads (3) an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs (1) nach Anspruch 4, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass sie auch eine Vorrichtung zum Betätigen dieses Einziehvorgangs umfasst, die aus folgendem besteht:
    • (a) einem Torsionsstab (35) zum Aufbringen der Stellbewegung auf die Halterung, um den Einziehvorgang zu betätigen und wobei der Torsionsstab (35) außerdem zur Aufhängung des Fahrzeugs (1) dient; und
    • (b) einer Kraftvorrichtung (36) zum Aufbringen eines Drehmoments auf den Torsionsstab (35), um den Einziehvorgang zu betätigen, wobei die Kraftvorrichtung (36) außerdem zur Aufhängung des Fahrzeugs (1) dient.
  6. Verfahren zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads (3) an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs (1), bei dem das Rad (3) an der Karosserie (2) des Fahrzeugs (1) gehalten wird, wobei das Rad (3) während des Einziehvorgangs mit der Antriebsachse (10) verbunden bleiben kann, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass es auch den Schritt der antreibbaren und schwenkbaren Verbindung eines Abtriebs (7) über eine Antriebsachse (10) an das Rad (3) umfasst, wobei der Abtrieb (7) und die Antriebsachse (10) während eines Einziehvorgangs mit dem Rad (3) verbunden bleiben können - von einer ausgefahrenen Stellung (3P), in der das Rad (3) eine im Wesentlichen horizontale Drehachse hat und das Rad (3) das Fahrzeug (1) an Land tragen kann, zu einer eingezogenen Stellung (3R), in der die Achse des Rads (3) in der eingezogenen Stellung in einem Winkel von mehr als 45 Grad zur Horizontalen liegt und das Rad (3) deutlich über der Wasserlinie des schwimmenden Fahrzeugs (1) liegt.
  7. Verfahren zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads (3) an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs (1) nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die einziehbare Befestigung des Rads (3) an der Fahrzeugkarosserie (2) folgende Schritte umfasst:
    • (a) das drehbare Anbringen des Rads (3) an einem Radträger;
    • (b) die Bereitstellung einer Halterung für die schwenkbare Befestigung des Radträgers (16) an der Fahrzeugkarosserie (2); und
    • (c) die geometrische Anordnung der Halterung und des Radträgers (16), so dass das Rad während des Einziehvorgangs antreibbar mit dem Abtrieb (7) verbunden bleiben kann.
  8. Verfahren zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads (3) an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs (1) nach Anspruch 7, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Drehen des Rads (3), um für die Lenkung des Fahrzeugs zu sorgen, indem der Radträger (16) um eine im Wesentlichen senkrechte, durch die Gelenke (20) und (21) definierte, Achse gedreht wird, folgende Schritte umfasst:
    • (a) das Anbringen des Rads (3), wobei das Rad (3) so gedreht werden kann, dass das Fahrzeug gelenkt wird;
    • (b) die Anordnung der Lenkverbindungen (30, 32, 34), so dass das Rad (3) gesteuert werden kann, um das Fahrzeug zu lenken, und wobei das Rad (3) dem Einziehvorgang folgen kann; und
    • (c) die Anordnung der Lenkverbindungen (30, 32, 34), so dass die Lenkung des Fahrzeugs im Wesentlichen aufgehoben wird, wenn sich das Rad (3) in der eingezogenen Stellung (3R) befindet.
  9. Verfahren zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs nach Anspruch 8, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass es auch ein Verfahren zum Umschließen und Tragen umfasst, das folgende Schritt umfasst:
    • (a) das teilweise Umschließen der Halterung und der Antriebsachse (10) in einem unteren Kasten (14), wobei die Halterung teilweise vom unteren Kasten (14) getragen wird;
    • (b) die Bereitstellung einer Achsdichtung (3a) innerhalb des unteren Kastens (14), durch die verhindert wird, dass Flüssigkeit in das Innere des Fahrzeugs (1) eintritt;
    • (c) das teilweise Tragen der Halterung durch einen oberen Kasten (13) und das teilweise Umschließen des Rads (3) in diesem oberen Kasten (13), wenn sich das Rad (3) in der eingezogenen Stellung (3R) befindet.
  10. Verfahren zum Einziehen eines achsgetriebenen Rads (3) an Bord eines Amphibienfahrzeugs (1) nach Anspruch 9, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass es auch einen Betätigungsvorgang umfasst, der folgenden Schritt umfasst:
    • Aufbringen einer Kraftvorrichtung (36) an die Halterung, wobei die Kraftvorrichtung (36) den Einziehvorgang betätigt und wobei die Kraftvorrichtung (36) außerdem zur Aufhängung des Fahrzeugs (1) dient.
Anspruch[en]
  1. An apparatus for retracting an axle-driven wheel (3) on board an amphibious vehicle (1) said apparatus comprising:
    • (a) location means (11, 12) for locating said wheel (3) to the body (2) of said vehicle (1) said location means (11, 12) providing a geometric arrangement whereby said wheel (3) may follow said retracting process while remaining connected to said drive-means, and
    • (b) drive means, being a drive-axle (10) driveably and pivotally connected at a proximate end thereof to a drive-output (7) and driveably and pivotally connected at a distal end thereof to said wheel (3) whereby said drive-means may remain connected to said wheel (3) throughout a retracting process, from a protracted position (3P) wherein said wheel (3) has an axis of rotation substantially horizontal and said wheel (3) is able to provide land-support to said vehicle (1) to a retracted position (3R) characterised in that said wheel (3) has said axis at an angle greater than 45 degrees to said horizontal in a retracted position and said wheel (3) is elevated substantially above the waterline of said vehicle (1) when afloat.
  2. An apparatus for retracting an axle-driven wheel (3) on board an amphibious vehicle (1) according to claim 1, characterised in that said location means (11, 12) comprises;
    • (a) a wheel-support member (16) having an upper end and a lower end, with said wheel (3) being rotatably mounted at said lower end;
    • (b) an upper suspension linkage (11) being pivotally attached at a proximate end thereof to said vehicle body (2), and pivotally attached at a distal end thereof to said upper end of said wheel-support member (16); and
    • (c) a lower suspension linkage (12) being pivotally attached at a proximate end thereof to said vehicle body (2), and pivotally attached at a distal end thereof to said lower end of said wheel-support member (16); wherein said upper suspension linkage (11) and said lower suspension linkage (12) provide a geometric arrangement whereby said wheel-support member (16) may follow said retracting process while remaining connected to said drive-means.
  3. An apparatus for retracting an axle-driven wheel (3) on board an amphibious vehicle (1) according to claim 2 characterised in that it further comprises vehicular steering means, comprising:
    • (a) steering connections, including a steering shaft (30), a steering link (32) and a steering arm (34) attached to said wheel-support member (16); and
    • (b) steering pivots (31, 33) for pivotally mounting said wheel-support member (16) whereby said wheel-support member (16) may be turned on a substantially vertical axis so as to provide said vehicular steering when
      • (aa) a torsion-bar (35) for applying actuating motion to said location-means in order to actuate said retracting process, and wherein said torsion-bar (35) also provides suspensional support to said vehicle (1); and
      • (bb) a power-means (36) for applying torque to said torsion-bar (35) in order to actuate said retracting process, whereby said power-means also provides suspensional support to said vehicle (1).
  4. An apparatus for retracting an axle-driven wheel (3) on board an amphibious vehicle according to claim 3, characterised in that it further comprises means for enclosing and supporting said apparatus, comprising:
    • (a) a lower compartment (14) having a closed inboard end and an open outboard end, said lower compartment (14) being integral with said vehicle body (2), and arranged so as to pivotally support said proximate end of said lower suspension linkage (12) and to partially enclose said lower suspension linkage (12) and said drive-axle (10); said lower compartment (14) having a portal (25), being an opening by which said drive-axle (10) may pass through said closed inboard end of said lower compartment (14), and sealing means (39), whereby fluids may be prevented from passing through said portal (25); and
    • (b) an upper compartment (13) having a closed inboard end and an open outboard end, said upper compartment (13) being integral with said vehicle body (2) and arranged so as to pivotally support said proximate end of said upper suspension linkage (11), and to partially enclose said wheel (3) when said wheel (3) is in said retracted position (3R).
  5. An apparatus for retracting an axle-driven wheel (3) on board an amphibious vehicle (1) according to claim 4 characterised in that it further comprises means for actuating said retracting process comprising:
    • (a) a torsion-bar (35) for applying actuating motion to said location-means in order to actuate said retracting process, and wherein said torsion-bar (35) also provides suspensional support to said vehicle (1); and
    • (b) a power-means (36) for applying torque to said torsion-bar (35) in order to actuate said retracting process, whereby said power-means (36) also provides suspensional support to said vehicle (1).
  6. A method of retracting an axle-driven wheel (3) on board an amphibious vehicle (1) in which the wheel (3) is located to the body (2) of the said vehicle (1) whereby said wheel (3) may follow said retracting process while remaining connected to said drive-axle (10), characterised in that it further comprises the step of driveably and pivotally connecting a drive-output (7) through a drive-axle (10) to said wheel (3) whereby said drive-output (7) and said drive-axle (10) are able to remain connected to said wheel (3) throughout a retracting process, from a protracted position (3P) wherein said wheel (3) has an axis of rotation substantially horizontal and said wheel (3) is able to provide land support to said vehicle (1), to a retracted position (3R) wherein said wheel (3) has said axis at an angle greater than 45 degrees to said horizontal in a retracted position and said wheel (3) is elevated substantially above the waterline of said vehicle (1) when afloat.
  7. A method of retracting an axle-driven wheel (3) onboard an amphibious vehicle (1) according to Claim 6 characterised in that locating said wheel (3) retractably to said vehicle body (2) includes the steps of
    • (a) mounting said wheel (3) rotatably upon a wheel-support member;
    • (b) providing location-means for pivotally locating said wheel-support member (16) to said vehicle body (2); and
    • (c) geometrically arranging said location-means and said wheel-support member (16) whereby said wheel (3) may follow said retracting process while remaining driveably connected to said drive-output (7).
  8. A method of retracting an axle-driven wheel (3) onboard an amphibious vehicle (1) according to Claim 7, characterised in that turning of said wheel (3) to provide vehicular steering by rotating the wheel support (16) about a substantially vertical axis defined by the joints (20) and (21) includes the steps of
    • (a) mounting said wheel (3) whereby said wheel (3) may be turned in such a way as to provide said vehicular steering;
    • (b) arranging steering connections (30, 32, 34) whereby said wheel (3) may be controlled in order to provide said vehicular steering, and wherein said wheel (3) may follow said retracting process; and
    • (c) arranging said steering connections (30, 32, 34) whereby said vehicular steering will be substantially cancelled when said wheel (3) is in said retracted position (3R).
  9. A method of retracting an axle-driven wheel onboard an amphibious vehicle according to Claim 8, characterised in that it further comprises an enclosing and supporting procedure including the steps of
    • (a) partly enclosing said location-means and said drive-axle (10) within a lower compartment (14) wherein said location-means is partly supported by said lower compartment (14);
    • (b) providing drive-axle sealing means (3a) within said lower compartment (14) whereby fluid may be prevented from entering the interior of said vehicle (1)
    • (c) partly supporting said location-means by an upper compartment (13), and partially enclosing said wheel (3) within said upper compartment (13) when said wheel (3) is in said retracted position (3R).
  10. A method of retracting an axle-driven wheel (3) onboard an amphibious vehicle (1) according to Claim 9, characterised in that it further comprises an actuating procedure comprising the step of:
    • applying a power-means (36) to said location-means whereby said power-means (36) may actuate said retracting process and whereby said power-means (36) may also provide suspensional support to said vehicle (1).
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Appareil pour rétracter une roue entraînée par un axe (3) sur un véhicule amphibie (1), ledit appareil comprenant :
    • (a) un moyen de localisation (11, 12) pour localiser ladite roue (3) par rapport au corps (2) dudit véhicule (1), ledit moyen de localisation (11, 12) fournissant une disposition géométrique par laquelle ladite roue (3) peut suivre ledit processus de rétraction pendant qu'elle reste reliée audit moyen d'entraînement, et
    • (b) un moyen d'entraînement, qui est un axe d'entraînement (10) relié de façon à pouvoir être entraîné et pivoter à son extrémité proximale à une sortie d'entraînement (7) et relié de façon à pouvoir être entraîné et pivoter à son extrémité distale à ladite roue (3) par lequel ledit moyen d'entraînement peut rester relié à ladite roue (3) pendant toute la durée d'un processus de rétraction, d'une position déployée (3P) dans laquelle ladite roue (3) a un axe de rotation en grande partie horizontal et ladite roue (3) est capable de fournir un support sur terre audit véhicule (1) à une position rétractée (3R) caractérisée en ce que ladite roue (3) a ledit axe à un angle supérieur à 45 degrés par rapport à ladite horizontale, dans une position rétractée, et ladite roue (3) est élevée en grande partie au-dessus de la ligne d'eau dudit véhicule (1) lorsqu'il est dans l'eau.
  2. Appareil pour rétracter une roue entraînée par un axe (3) sur un véhicule amphibie (1) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que ledit moyen de localisation (11, 12) comprend :
    • (a) un membre de support de roue (16) qui a une extrémité supérieure et une extrémité inférieure, avec ladite roue (3) montée de façon à pouvoir tourner à ladite extrémité inférieure ;
    • (b) une tringlerie de suspension supérieure (11) attachée de façon à pouvoir pivoter à son extrémité proximale par rapport audit corps de véhicule (2), et attachée de façon à pouvoir pivoter à son extrémité distale par rapport à ladite extrémité supérieure dudit membre de support de roue (16) ; et
    • (c) une tringlerie de suspension inférieure (12) attachée de façon à pouvoir pivoter à son extrémité proximale par rapport audit corps de véhicule (2), et attachée de façon à pouvoir pivoter à son extrémité distale par rapport à ladite extrémité inférieure dudit membre de support de roue (16) ; par lequel ladite tringlerie de suspension supérieure (11) et ladite tringlerie de suspension inférieure (12) fournissent une disposition géométrique par laquelle ledit membre de support de roue (16) peut suivre ledit processus de rétraction pendant qu'il reste relié audit moyen d'entraînement.
  3. Appareil pour rétracter une roue entraînée par un axe (3) sur un véhicule amphibie (1) selon la revendication 2 caractérisé en ce qu'il comprend en outre un moyen de guidage véhiculaire, comprenant :
    • (a) des pièces de guidage, comprenant un arbre de guidage (30), une tringle de guidage (32) et un bras de guidage (34) attaché audit membre de support de roue (16) ; et
    • (b) des pivots de guidage (31, 33) pour monter de façon pivotante ledit membre de support de roue (16) par lequel ledit membre de support de roue (16) peut être tourné sur un axe en grande partie vertical de façon à fournir ledit guidage véhiculaire lorsque
      • (aa) une barre de torsion (35) pour appliquer un mouvement d'actionnement audit moyen de localisation afin d'actionner ledit processus de rétraction, et par lequel ladite barre de torsion (35) fournit aussi un support suspensionnel audit véhicule (1) ; et
      • (bb) un moyen de puissance (36) pour appliquer une force de torsion à ladite barre de tension (35) afin d'actionner ledit processus de rétraction, par lequel ledit moyen de puissance fournit aussi un support suspensionnel audit véhicule (1).
  4. Appareil pour rétracter une roue entraînée par un axe (3) sur un véhicule amphibie selon la revendication 3, caractérisé en ce qu'il comprend en outre un moyen pour enfermer et supporter ledit appareil, comprenant :
    • (a) un compartiment inférieur (14) qui possède une extrémité vers l'intérieur fermée et une extrémité vers l'extérieur ouverte, ledit compartiment inférieur (14) faisant partie intégrale dudit corps de véhicule (2), et disposé de manière à supporter de façon pivotante ladite extrémité proximale de ladite tringlerie de suspension inférieure (12) et à enfermer en partie ladite tringlerie de suspension inférieure (12) et ledit axe d'entraînement (10) ; ledit compartiment inférieur (14) étant muni d'une embouchure (25), qui est une ouverture par laquelle ledit axe d'entraînement (10) peut passer à travers ladite extrémité vers l'intérieur fermée dudit compartiment inférieur (14), et un moyen de scellement (39), qui permet d'empêcher les fluides de passer à travers ladite embouchure (25) ; et
    • (b) un compartiment supérieur (13) muni d'une extrémité vers l'intérieur fermée et d'une extrémité vers l'extérieur ouverte, ledit compartiment supérieur (13) faisant partie intégrale dudit corps de véhicule (2) et disposé de manière à supporter de façon pivotante ladite extrémité proximale de ladite tringlerie de suspension supérieure (11), et à enfermer partiellement ladite roue (3) lorsque ladite roue (3) est dans ladite position rétractée (3R).
  5. Appareil pour rétracter une roue entraînée par un axe (3) sur un véhicule amphibie (1) selon la revendication 4 caractérisé en ce qu'il comprend en outre un moyen pour actionner ledit processus de rétraction, comprenant :
    • (a) une barre de torsion (35) pour appliquer un mouvement d'actionnement audit moyen de localisation afin d'actionner ledit processus de rétraction, et par lequel ladite barre de torsion (35) fournit aussi un support suspensionnel audit véhicule (1) ; et
    • (b) un moyen de puissance (36) pour appliquer une force de torsion à ladite barre de tension (35) afin d'actionner ledit processus de rétraction, par lequel ledit moyen de puissance fournit aussi un support suspensionnel audit véhicule (1).
  6. Méthode de rétraction d'une roue entraînée par un axe (3) sur un véhicule amphibie (1) dans laquelle la roue (3) est localisée par rapport au corps (2) dudit véhicule (1) par laquelle ladite roue (3) peut suivre ledit processus de rétraction pendant qu'elle reste reliée audit axe d'entraînement (10), caractérisée en ce qu'elle comprend en outre l'étape consistant à relier de façon à pouvoir être entraînée et pivoter une sortie d'entraînement (7) à travers un axe d'entraînement (10) à ladite roue (3) par laquelle ladite sortie d'entraînement (7) et ledit axe d'entraînement (10) sont capables de rester reliés à ladite roue (3) pendant toute la durée d'un processus de rétraction, d'une position déployée (3P) dans laquelle ladite roue (3) a un axe de rotation en grande partie horizontal et ladite roue (3) est capable de fournir un support sur terre audit véhicule (1), jusqu'à une position rétractée (3R) dans laquelle ladite roue (3) a ledit axe à un angle supérieur à 45 degrés par rapport à ladite horizontale dans une position rétractée et ladite roue (3) est élevée en grande partie au-dessus de la ligne d'eau dudit véhicule (1) lorsqu'il est dans l'eau.
  7. Méthode de rétraction d'une roue entraînée par un axe (3) sur un véhicule amphibie (1) selon la revendication 6 caractérisée en ce que la localisation de ladite roue (13) de façon à pouvoir se rétracter par rapport audit corps de véhicule (2) comprend les étapes suivantes :
    • (a) monter ladite roue (3) de façon à pouvoir tourner sur un membre de support de roue ;
    • (b) fournir un moyen de localisation pour localiser de façon pivotante ledit membre de support de roue (16) par rapport audit corps de véhicule (2) ; et
    • (c) disposer géométriquement ledit moyen de localisation et ledit membre de support de roue (16) de sorte que ladite roue (3) puisse suivre ledit processus de rétraction pendant qu'elle reste reliée à ladite sortie d'entraînement (7) tout en pouvant être entraînée.
  8. Méthode de rétraction d'une roue entraînée par un axe (3) sur un véhicule amphibie (1) selon la revendication 7, caractérisée en ce que la rotation de ladite roue (13) pour fournir un guidage véhiculaire en faisant tourner le support de roue (16) autour d'un axe en grande partie vertical défini par les joints (20) et (21) comprend les étapes suivantes :
    • (a) monter ladite roue (3) de sorte que ladite roue (3) puisse être tournée de telle façon qu'elle puisse fournir ledit guidage véhiculaire ;
    • (b) disposer les pièces de guidage (30, 32, 34) de sorte que ladite roue (3) puisse être commandée afin de fournir ledit guidage véhiculaire, et de sorte que ladite roue (3) puisse suivre ledit processus de rétraction ; et
    • (c) disposer lesdites pièces de guidage (30, 32, 34) de sorte que le guidage véhiculaire sera en grande partie annulé lorsque ladite roue (3) est dans ladite position rétractée (3R).
  9. Méthode de rétraction d'une roue entraînée par un axe sur un véhicule amphibie selon la revendication 8, caractérisée en ce qu'elle comprend en outre une procédure d'enfermement et de support comprenant les étapes suivantes :
    • (a) enfermer partiellement ledit moyen de localisation et ledit axe d'entraînement (10) à l'intérieur d'un compartiment inférieur (14) de sorte que ledit moyen de localisation soit partiellement supporté par ledit compartiment inférieur (14) ;
    • (b) fournir un moyen de scellement de l'axe d'entraînement (3a) à l'intérieur dudit compartiment inférieur (14) de façon à empêcher les fluides d'entrer à l'intérieur dudit véhicule (1) ;
    • (c) supporter partiellement ledit moyen de localisation par un compartiment supérieur (13), et enfermer partiellement ladite roue (3) à l'intérieur dudit compartiment supérieur (13) lorsque ladite roue (3) est dans ladite position rétractée (3R).
  10. Méthode pour rétracter une roue entraînée par un axe (3) sur un véhicule amphibie (1) selon la revendication 9, caractérisée en ce qu'elle comprend en outre une procédure d'actionnement comprenant l'étape suivante :
    • appliquer un moyen de puissance (36) audit moyen de localisation de sorte que le moyen de puissance (36) puisse actionner le processus de rétraction et de sorte que le moyen de puissance (36) puisse aussi fournir un support suspensionnel audit véhicule (1).






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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